Friday, June 19, 2009

A quick note....

Hi all, I'm in Utah with no real internet connection so I will not be posting for a week. Hope all is well and thanks to all for stopping by and leaving comments.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Unexpected Surprise!

Life is so full of unexpected surprises and this was just floored me. The other day I happened to be in a second hand/antique shop looking at some beautiful old china. I got to thinking about Mom's china, that had dissapeared 40 years ago during the turmoil in our lives at the time. We thought that my second stepdad has tossed it so we gave it up as lost. Well I've always wondered if I would ever stumble across it on my jaunts through the local stores here in Oregon, but I realized I wouldn't even recognize it if I saw it.
My stepsister called me a few days later and said she had a surprise for me. She was out visiting my stepbrother where he and his wife happened to be cleaning out the garage. He mentioned to my sis he had "Nancy's" china, and asked her if she wanted it or should he get rid of it. She then asked him if he didn't think I might want it and he had an OH, DUH moment. Sid is such a nice fella but men just don't think that way sometimes. The upshot of all of this is that I now have my mother's china, that has been gone for so very long. I am still in shock as I really never expected this, but I am also planning a meal where we can use it. I do plan on using it for special occasions as that is what I believe we should do. Mom would want it that way I'm sure, as life is too short to keep things shut away and not used. My children don't have any memories of the china as they never met Mom, so it's time to make memories with it! Oh, and the photo above is of one of the pieces from the set.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letting go....

It's hard to believe that just 9 months ago Dad came out to Wendover to see the air show and go for a ride on a b-25? bomber. He was still doing well even though he had a pace maker he was getting around and taking care of himself and Mom with no problem. This morning Kent called me in a panic as his mom had just called him to come back to Tooele as Dad had fallen and she couldn't get him up. Luckily Kent had only gotten as far as Grantsville on his way to Wendover so he rushed back and found Dad prone with blood pooled around one arm. He was okay, but had really scraped his arm during the fall so Kent helped get him bandaged up. Mom is not able to take care of him as she is mostly blind, deaf and anorexic so we are trying to get them home health care but they keep fighting it.
So what do we do now? I called Dad's physician to get help and we shall see what the evaluation will be. I don't expect Dad to be around much longer so we will probably have Kent stay with his parents and care for them in July just in case. We are praying that what is best for Dad will happen. Which means that he may go quickly. So how to I help Kent and Paula and everyone let go? And how can they help Dad let go? Dad is weary and weak from being wracked with arthritic pain. One of the fiercely independent generation that went through WWII he feels useless and a burden. But he worries about Mom and what will happen to her. So he must feel caught, he can't eat very well, doesn't taste the food anymore as his taste buds are shot, can't do things physically that he was doing right up to a year ago, and yet there's Mom. Along with all her health issues she is somewhat senile, which is understandable for their age. I'm sure that Dad doesn't want to leave her and it makes it hard for him. If you believe, and have a moment today, would you mind sending a prayer up on their behalf?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gardening for pleasure and food

I have become a fan of the square foot garden method by Mel Bartholomew. I followed his advice on putting boxes together using 2 x 6 boards, and corner brackets. I placed landscaping cloth under the 4x4 foot and 4x8 foot boxes and then filled them with weed free compost, peat moss and top soil. I marked off the soil in a foot by foot grid and planted according to space recommendations and now have seedlings happily reaching for the sun. I can see how efficient this will be, and easy to maintain. And, I'm getting much better results with plant growth already. We will be planting most of the side yard this way, to utilize our not so otherwise useful yard space and cut down on area that needs to be mowed. I'm still in the planning stage as far as what to put down in the pathways to cover the cloth. I would love to put brick or stone, but unless my friend and I can find an amazing supply of flat rock somewhere out and about I will probably have to settle for mulch or gravel. Anyway we do it, after all is done, this will make a pleasant garden full of wonderful veggies, herbs and fruits to enjoy year round. Oh, and if you're wondering why the chicken wire boxes, I am stingy and don't want to sacrifice my garden to the deer. They graze on my flowers as it is, so they get plenty. If you want to learn more about square foot gardening here's the link: All New Square Foot Gardening .
Just for giggles I threw my flower garden photo in. This will be a wildly wonderful flurry of flowers soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

He knows our hearts.....

Emmett is helping grandpa push the stroller through the zoo..... Family, what could be more important than that? It's a gift from God for those born into loving families, but sometimes we are born into confusion and chaos. And, in spite of what we may think, sometimes that is a gift as well.
Today was Fast and Testimony Sunday. For those not familiar with the LDS church, once a month we fast for 2 meals. The money we would normally spend on food we give to the church to help buy food and other things for those in need. I listened to two young women talk about how grateful they are for their family. My stepdaughter talked about her first year at college and how scary it was to watch us drive off and leave her at the dorm. It was a choice she made though, to go off to school and she knew that we would be there for her if needed. One of her friends is going to Japan for the summer and she echoed the idea that she knew that even though she would be in a strange land with a family she didn't know, she knew that the Lord would be there watching over her, and that she could be in touch with her family, who love her very much.
I reflected on their talks, and how different my life was at their age. Choices were made for me that had an impact on my life and still does, even now. I was living with my stepfather and stepmother, not knowing at the time that he was not my real father. When we moved off post after "dad" retired, they didn't let me move into the trailor with them. They were planning on building a home and the trailor was temporary. They turned the tool shed into my room, sort of. It was a plywood and 2 x 4's shed with no insulation. The mower and other tools were still in there. Yes, there was a bed put out there, but there was little light, and when the temps dropped down in the 30's at night I had to bundle up under 3 double folded blankets, and wear several layers of warm clothes to bed. I had a small heater that barely kept the cold at bay, and was miserable. I did get to use the bathroom and eat at the house sometimes, but I could feel a difference in the way I was being treated and was so hurt by the whole situation. I would go to my only class in the morning, walk the two miles to the main gate of the military post I worked at, catch the bus, and then after work had to look forward to walking the 3 miles home. It was downhill most of the way so that wasn't too bad, but the last mile there were no streetlights and it was dark out on the desert. I was told that they didn't want me waking the family when I came home late at night, but it was my stepfather that encouraged us to go out and stay out until whenever. They wouldn't even come to the main gate to pick me up, I had to catch a ride, no matter the weather, or walk. I wouldn't have minded the walking so much, but for a teenage girl in a military town, at night, walking home alone, it wasn't safe. I had one person offer me a ride and then took me out into the desert and threatened to kill me if I didn't do as he asked. I never told anyone because I didn't think anyone would care. It was my second rape, and I was told I asked for it the first time so why would anyone believe me this time. It was a very confusing time for me, and I made a lot of choices I would never have made had I lived with a family that treated me like one of their own. Mom was already gone by that time and that added to the whole mess. Later they found several black widows nests in the shed after I moved out, and laughed about it. Bob eventually took me out to find a place of my own, so I was paying for my own place, food and other expenses even before I got out of high school. It wasn't my choice, but one made for me. Sometimes when I think about that time, which really isn't unless someone says something to trigger that memory, I want to call my stepmom and ask why? Why did they continually reject me? I know the answer though, and it had little to do with me, and more to do with my stepfather's alcohol abuse, and the misery everyone suffered living with my stepdad.

So what does this have to do God knowing our hearts? Well I survived all that and much more before my life settled down. I know that Heavenly Father watches over me continually. I'm alive to see my grandchildren, and I have a loving husband, and a strength that a lot of folks will never have. I can use my experience to help others, and it's what He wants me to do. I've lived a hell on earth and made it through, and can offer an empathy to those going through similar experiences. I learned one very important principle and that is, that even though we are weak, the desires of our hearts can be achieved, if we have righteous desires. We will be tested to see if we are willing to stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all places and things. He will give us the strength to overcome if we look to Him for it. Heavenly Father knew that I didn't want to be weak, and He blessed me even when I wasn't trying very hard. I still falter at times, and yet I'm still blessed with what I truly need. My desire has always been to be a good person, but sometimes I didn't feel worthy of love and felt hopeless. I know now that I was wrong, and that He truly does know me, better than I know myself. I hope my experiences temper my attitude towards others, and that I try to be more understanding and as patient and loving as He has been toward me. And for those who may mistake what I share here, I truly don't think I'm perfect, so I hope I don't portray that. I still make mistakes, and do regret if I've hurt anyone, or offended them in any way. May the Lord bless us all with the strength and protection we need......